I never wanted to be THAT neighbor

I returned home from walking my dog to find a note taped to my mailbox along with a bag of dog – well, you know.

My neighbor from across the street witnessed me allowing my dog to do his business in the natural, wooded area of their property and then burying said business under a pile of pine straw and decomposing leaves before heading on out for our walk.

My neighbor, whom I have not spoken 6 words to in the 14 years we have lived here and probably does not know my name, came out, found the buried business, bagged it up and left it for me with a note. She called me out for my actions and then said if it happened again, she’d report me to the HOA. Not particularly friendly, I thought.

Justifications ran through my mind at the moment of reading the note:

It’s the woods.

Not their grass, not their landscaped area, the woods.

The same woods the deer poop in.

Far, far away from their house.

The woods, where tree limbs fall and stay until they decay.

THE WOODS.

I didn’t “cover” it up – I intentionally buried it.

It’s biodegradable and will be gone in a week.

Then it hit me.

I was “that” neighbor. You know who “that” neighbor is: The crazy one, the rude one, the loud one, the one who doesn’t ever maintain their property, the one who works on their car in the driveway at midnight, the one who lets their dog bark all night, the one who starts their yard work at sunrise on Saturday morning. We have all had “that” neighbor. No one wants to be “that” neighbor.

Yet here I was, confronted with the knowledge that I was who I didn’t want to be.

I am honored to guest post at The Glorious Table. This first appeared there on September 15th. Please join me there for the rest of this and discover how we go from being that neighbor to the neighbor. The one Jesus calls us to be.